The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is warning people of a scam going around. Several police reports have already been filed within the county.
The phone number is 405-254-2432.
Mark Opgrande, Public Information Officer with OCSO, said the caller knows a lot of personal information about the victim. He said if no one picks up, the scammer leaves a message saying the person missed jury duty and has a warrant out for his or her arrest.
“They would convince them that you will be thrown in jail or this is a finable offense so in order for you to settle this, you need to get money,” said Opgrande. He said the caller demands pre-paid gift cards. In one incident, he even threatened to go to the victim’s home.
Opgrande said this is something a real law enforcement agency will not do. Pre-paid gift cards is never an option. The way to properly pay a legitimate fine would be at the county clerk’s office.
The scammer is often targeting elderly people. Opgrande said the best thing to do is to hang up the phone and don’t call the number back even though it is a local incoming call.
News 9 tried the number. It immediately goes to an automated voicemail. “Hello. You have reached the Sheriff’s Office Civil Processing Division. If this is an emergency, hang up now and dial 911. If you know your party’s extension, you may dial it at any time. For Deputy Mike Barry, please dial one.”
We dialed “1” and a man picked up. “This is Lieutenant Barry. How can I help you?” he said. We gave him a fake name. He indicated he needed to pull our file, hung up, and called us back after 15 minutes.
After being confronted by the News 9 reporter, the man who claimed to be Lieutenant Barry changed his story. “Ma’am, I run a […] carpet cleaning company.” He denied being part of the Sheriff’s Office, used profane language, and hung up the phone.
The Sheriff’s Office said scams happen all the time and are warning people to be cautious when picking up a call from an unknown number.